small kitchen layout gurus please help

belle_vaMarch 19, 2013

I would appreciate any suggestions... I've posted about my kitchen but haven't yet shared a floor plan. Initially, we were planning to keep all appliances in their same locations and if this is possible I'd still like to do that. But the further I get into this process, the more complications I'm encountering. So I am open to considering changes. Note: where the sink is located is a peninsula, so there's not a wall there. Also, there is an empty wall between the walk-in pantry and the opening to the back of our house (the opening was "created" at some point and is, of course, not original to the house.) I had hoped to do a built in hutch type piece for china storage along this empty wall but am open to other suggestions. Thank you.

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Have you considered a island instead of the peninsula? That would break up the crowding between the sink and the stove. I think your hutch idea is a good one. I put in a ceiling to floor custom cab. thats only 11 inchs wide and I love it. Its not wide enough to build up clutter like my old 24 inch one did.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 4:09PM
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What is behind that empty wall on the left? Can you recess your fridge there?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 5:03PM
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Thanks yall for the suggestions. Keep them coming! Madeyna, I'm open to an island though I have a whole lot of stuff stored in the corner I'd lose. Marcolo... there is a stairwell going to our basement behind that empty wall. You step down and into our "pantry" and then turn right to go down the stairs to the basement. Actually there is both the stairwell down and the stairwell to our upstairs just above your head as you go down. You have to duck. Gotta love old houses! I certainly toyed with putting the fridge on that wall but I think I'd have to build out to at least 24 deep and once I do that, I don't know if there would be enough clearance to pass through to the back of the house. (for code, I mean. I think it is supposed to be 36 inches.) KDs.. do you ever have a kitchen that you think "oh this is not even worth it... you can't make this better." Some days I feel that way about mine!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 6:30PM
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Your kitchen is very do able. It just one of those rooms where you have to make sure you get it right and think it all the way threw. Just cnsider it a challenge;)Although I have to say my mom has one of the biggest kitchens I have ever seen and her cabnet builder totally screwed that layout. Her stove and her fridge are at least twenty feet apart with the sink somewhere in the middle. The hutch and the island would more than makeup for the loss of storage in that corner. I would put the sink and the dishwasher in the island facing out into the other room. I would hate too work at the sink and be staring at a wall.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 6:45PM
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Thanks Madeyna! I enjoy the challenge of it all in an abstract kind of way but I am also scared of making a very expensive mistake. The sink currently does face out to the dining room which in turn has four lovely, large windows. The view is unobstructed. It is actually very open. The previous owners did a facelift at some point and one of the things they did was to add the peninsula which also has a nice large and very deep stainless steel sink. (I can bathe dogs in it!) I am planning to keep the sink as it is only a few years old.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 6:53PM
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what would you like from the space: in other words,what do you want from this, in this location,for your family and for the home....what are some "perks" you would like from the space....Some people want uber storage, some folks want a congregating spot, some are very budget minded but reach high, some want to improve traffic flow even if footprint will remain small or "tight", some want a very stylish place with a distinct personal imprint. I can see a couple ways to take this but how you may be "pushing your own mental/conceptual envelope" about this would be nice to hear. A kitchen is never just a kitchen when these projects get going. There is huge freedom and flexibility to do things in kitchen spaces of all types.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 7:04PM
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My main goal would be to add prep space on the sink side. Consider the possibility of extending your peninsula into the hall so it ends where the fridge wall ends and using a smaller sink base so that you can put the new-found inches into counter space.

We bumped our peninsula into the hallway 5". We went from a 36" sink base to a 28" with a 25" single-bowl sink. It's deep so it doesn't need to be any wider. Should be able to bathe a dog if I ever was so inclined. We added a 13" trash pull-out cabinet to extend the counterspace. I could have added a 12" drawer base or a cutting board cabinet. I now have 47" of uninterrupted counterspace at the end of my peninsula. You could also use that cabinet space in the corner and give yourself a little breathing room between sink and stove.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 7:41PM
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Can you post the rest of the home to be able to get a sense of what can be altered and what possibly cannot? I'm thinking that if the wall with the window and door in it is an exterior wall that there might just be a similar window in the dining room that could serve as the exit to the outside and that opening could be closed off or have a window in front of it for possibly a sink. Or have you thought about removing the remaining wall between the dining room and the kitchen?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 7:43PM
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Herbflavor. I've thought long and hard about this. I think at one point I actually wrote a kitchen mission statement. In a word, I want PRETTY. Light. Creamy, layered whites. Painted cabinets. Marble counters. Clutter free. I am one of the few people that likes kitchens that are tucked away precisely because I don't want to see dishes and counter clutter. Our previous kitchen actually had a swinging door, a feature of days gone by I guess. But ours is open to the dining room and the side door is the door we use to come and go and there's even another passage way to the back of our house so I pass through the space a lot and I just want it to feel smart, thoughtful, clean, elegant and "pretty. I'd like some nice glass upper cabinets for china storage- was thinking of those as part of a hutch type piece along the empty wall. I don't need to maximize storage, per se, though space is at a premium in our tiny house. I'd also like to be respectful of the age of the home- I'd like a kitchen that feels like it could have always been there. (It is a 1923 bungalow.) Other items on the wishlist: a pretty "decorative" wooden hood, hidden trash can, a "hidden" microwave if possible.

I am trying to figure out what is logistically possible (preferably without tearing down walls...) and also what will work visually and will harmonize in our space. We have a small family. People don't congregate much in the kitchen- our dining room has a large farm table and it is easy to cook and talk to people in the dining room.

(By the way, my husband does all the cooking. His wish list is a nice range & a functional hood that vents to the outside which we do not currently have.)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 8:26PM
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Greendesigns, I am not a good sketch artist but here's my best effort of our downstairs. The dining room has more windows than wall space.Tall (nearly ceiling to floor) windows that are 110 in wide. I don't think I want to move the the side door into that room. If I had my druthers, I'd add a second window in the kitchen and center the sink on the window. (I think sinks should look out into gardens and I have a beautiful rose garden just outside.) But, assuming I could convince my husband to let me add another window in the kitchen, I'd lose a lot of storage space and I'd create new logistical problems because I'd have to figure out where to put the stove and the fridge. It would be a purely aesthetic "solution."

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 8:33PM
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You have both a den and a study on that floor, on top of the LR. Do you fully use both of those rooms? I would guess that the wall between them is probably not load bearing but obviously it would be necessary to check.

Combining those rooms would give you room for a much functional efficient kitchen, more windows onto your rose garden and maybe an island facing the roses.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 8:55PM
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Marcolo, I agree that would make for a grand kitchen... both the den & the study are "bedrooms" and my husband is very reluctant to lose a bedroom because of re-sale later. He works a lot from home too so he does actually use that space as a dedicated office... It is probably more of a construction project that we can take on but I like the idea.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 9:12PM
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The issue is that your kitchen is dysfunctional. There is no place to actually cook because the prep space between sink and range is minuscule. It's a serious problem, and to fix it something's got to give. It can't all be, "I'd rather not."

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 9:27PM
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I really appreciate your honest feedback and opinion Marcolo. I'd like to think through ways to improve our existing space instead of expanding. I really do like the charm of old houses with their separate distinct spaces.

This post was edited by belle_va on Tue, Mar 19, 13 at 22:24

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 9:43PM
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I understand your desire to keep the kitchen enclosed. And your husdands desire for a range hood. You will have to work the dimensions but have you considered:
a. removing the penedsula
b. then adding about 2.5' of wall to the kitchen side of the pantry to enclose it.
c. then putting the frigerator in the corner you just created. d. next to the frig you can have a 2' or so base cabinet with the microwave above it.
e. I would then move the stove to where you currently have the refrigerator
f. then moving the sink to where the stove is.

I hope that isn't too confusing. I don't know why I couldn't get a better picture of this layout.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 10:19PM
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Sorry, I don't know why I can't get the photo inserted. I'll try tomorrow.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 10:22PM
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One solution within the space as is ...
- double galley, don't turn the corners. You lose the corner counters but total frontage goes up from 91" to 118. a 30% increase.

-For this to work you have to use 24" (Liebherr is my preference) fridge can be all fridge or combo with freezer
- put back up freezer elsewhere
if you can't get duct into the ceiling between joists will need soffit in which case the wall cabs need to be one height- otherwise I'd bump the two down as shown.
-use dishdrawers and store everyday dishes in top drawer
or get an 18" DW (miele)
-micro is a bit tricky but depends could get a small one on end of sink run facing wall (not great) OR..
- if you change sink you can fit in a micro drawer
-might be able to work out shelves or some shallow cab on window wall could be pretty
-didn't mess with exact cabinets much or molding at all
- combine as many cabinets as possible since your doing inset
-a 30" cooktop with 27" oven below gains a little storage but this is net more than you have, just losing wall cabinet.
Edited to add: ignore the camera in the floor plan, not meant to be included :)

This post was edited by jakuvall on Tue, Mar 19, 13 at 23:16

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 11:03PM
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That is awesome.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 11:23PM
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OMG Jackuvall. Thank you so much for stopping by and for putting so much thought into my tiny little kitchen. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the hood you mocked up and this is a really interesting idea to consider. I was already hoping to use the 30 in w/ 24 in deep Liebherr (though it is a real budget buster!)... The 24 wide is awfully small. I'd maybe have to explore an alternate freezer. I do think I'd need to think through how to keep that space at the end of the galley from being "dead" space. If the window were centered I think it would be okay but with the window "off" as it is, I agree that it would be nice to do a shallow counter... or something... to connect things or balance them more or maybe I should bite the bullet and figure out how much it would cost to make the window centered in the space. With your plan, I could still have nice storage on the empty wall next to the pantry, right? A built-in or a hutch type piece. Also, Jackuvall, now that you see my space, do you still think my cabinet estimates are coming in high? Oh thank you. I could hug you. This inspires me. This is a kitchen that sings!

This post was edited by belle_va on Tue, Mar 19, 13 at 23:54

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 11:33PM
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And actually as I think about this more, all the windows in my house are very tall (it is a nice architectural feature) and it would be really elegant to do a tall window at the "end" of the galley. I would really really be able to look out into my rose garden. All the windows are original though with multiple panes etc. I wonder how hard it would be to match that? (And how much it would cost... gosh isn't my little project becoming $ costly?) But how pretty it would be!!!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 11:40PM
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Nothing against the inside wall of the galley. It would serve no purpose other than to decrease usable storage. The window is fine there. It is in the ideal spot to look out while prepping by the sink.

The blank wall is needed for passage. No furniture there. Possibly you could fit something like this, especially between the wall studs.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 11:43PM
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Yes, the issue with galley kitchens is what to do with the galley wall. At least to me. The ones I love virtually always either have a great window to a great view - or a cool door either leading outside or to another room or nook or something. To me, that's what makes galleys really work. It would be great if you could move that window and make it tall, with a great view out to your yard. That would be a reasonable concession and expense given the commitment not to take down walls/lose rooms to gain extra space, too.

Lucky you with the pantry, too. Maybe a microwave could be incorporated there? The microwave is the nemesis of the kitchen, IMHO....

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 12:02AM
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now that you see my space, do you still think my cabinet estimates are coming in high?
took a quick look in two brands both a straight paint and also a paint with a vintage finish- completely detailed- between 11.5 and 16k- I'm convinced it would still be under 20 in my top line which should be more than any of the brands you mentioned earlier so keep looking around.

Note that I looked at this leaving the space alone- have a hunch that little stub wall where I put the fridge could be bearing but if not remove that and gain just enough to fit in a 30 with a panel on each side (only lose an inch of cabinet) or put in a 27" $ub zero integrated and gain a little cabinet. Love the idea of moving the window- gets you another wall cabinet facing the peninsula.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 9:42AM
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Thank you Jakuvall... when all my estimates come in (grrr... still waiting for two!) I will post them just in case the information is helpful for others. I am not opposed to leaving the layout more or less intact especially if there is some way to have a pretty hood. That seems to be the sticking point. One KD did a drawing I like (not as much as yours, but probably my second favorite at this point) and it incorporated a flared hood similar in shape to the one you used. It had some open shelving because she said it would be impossible do much else in that corner to the left of the range with a pretty hood. Hers were the high, high estimates so while I really liked her and thought the design was heading in the right direction, the price is hard to wrap my head around. Another KD told me anything other than a hidden under a cabinet hood would be downright impossible in my space. My DH likes the idea of a hidden under a cabinet hood. We met some folks with a very powerful tiny, tiny Sirius vent and he thought it was just grand. So he was not upset to hear that.

Iannegreene, I'm not sure I am understanding your suggestion. Not sure if you mean to close off the passage to the back of our house? If so, I pushed for that early on... the opening was added at some point (not original to the house) and closing it would give me so many options in terms of layout. However, it is so very functional and my husband says he is not going to walk all the way around our house to get from the kitchen to his office.

So the adventure continues... I can't tell you all how grateful I am for your help and how much I enjoy seeing everyone's projects progress.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 11:21PM
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Look into removing the stub wall next to fridge. If it is bearing run a beam over to the dining room an match it with a soffit over cooking, maybe another over sink , make a sort of coffer.
Just putting a hood like that in showroom. Had it sent with the curve unfinished and then had that faux painted, saved some money.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 7:52AM
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belle va, you said you're not the cook. How involved is your husband in examining the layouts? I notice all of your feedback revolves around aesthetics. But jakuvall's layout is infinitely more functional than what you started with. That is the top consideration in any kitchen.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 8:15AM
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Belle - I do like the galley idea much better than your current kitchen.

Jak - I am having trouble visualizing the elevations in the plan. Where is that stove and hood located?

It seems so dysfunctional - The sink is on one side, the prep area opposite and the stove in the middle. I had that in my old kitchen and it was a pain.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 8:27AM
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Belle- fridge, range and hood along wall, other elevation is sink.
In a kitchen this size nothing is more than a step away, aisle is only 45". I could cook in this kitchen (I'm da cook)
Sometimes you have to respect (and live with) the architecture which can be less than "ideal". Ought to try a NYC apartment or a 1700's stone house

I avoid these threads - but if someone came on here and posted that a KD or contractor told them "you don't want that" or "it can't be done" there would be an uproar. Everyone would say post your plan and we'll make it happen. Only reason I posted was it wasn't going that way for belle
So GW do your stuff. Give belle some solutions to the issues you see... That work within her requirements.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 9:11AM
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You guys are great. No I don't really cook and my saint of a husband just wants me to be happy. I would love to make it a space he enjoys more too. We are so used to just working with whatever we've got that I'm not sure either of us would really know how to make it more functional. We lived mostly in tiny spaces in grad school so when we bought this home, it felt like a real improvement. He was so happy to finally have a gas range! I was home alone last night and made dinner and tried to think about how I was using the space but I suspect the things that bothered me (trying to reach up to get things or trying to dig them out of corners) would not necessarily bother him. When I get past the initial estimate stage and settle down with a KD I think I should make a list of all the things that need to be stored in the space- that might help. I think Jakuvall's galley kitchen is GREAT... I think it is a good possibility if I can figure out a way to use a 30in fridge. We definitely can't go down to 24.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 10:31AM
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Another thought is having your fridge inset into the stairwell. I don,t know what your codes are but we had a heater unit set back into out into our 1915 house. My stairs are really steep and it started effecting head clearance at about the 5th step.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 11:06AM
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30" fridge- stub wall removed- perspective of worst case with a 12" beam- soffet is set to just 6"
note it gets fussy where the panel meets the wall, likely need a small molding detail worked in to that area-doable

This post was edited by jakuvall on Fri, Mar 22, 13 at 11:39

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 11:36AM
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Gorgeous! Couldn't I leave the stub (if structural) and just do slightly smaller cabinets? Or would that be bad from a functional point of view?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 11:51AM
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In terms of keeping the space as it is (not moving walls or appliances) this is the design I've liked best. I have no idea if it is super functional and I feel like the open shelves are sort of odd- like I wonder if they could wrap and around and turn the corner?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 12:03PM
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Make the hutch with a break so you gain some counter for coffee pot/toaster/laying out things-[can't do that on peninsula with large sink] /maybe shallow'll still have plenty of dish storage if you break the 2 sections.. and the side panels can still extend down to the counter so the sides look "furniture-y".

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 12:26PM
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The design you like best is completely NON functional. You have zero space between the sink and the range, which is where prep occurs when the two are neighbors.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 12:30PM
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We have a very similar layout to your kitchen - our kitchen was 6x10 and we struggled with it. We're in a townhouse so we can't really make too many modifications.

We got rid of a breakfast bar and widend the peninsula, adding a prep sink. We decided to choose function over form. It probably looks "interesting", but it's made our kitchen about 500% easier to use. Love that 2+ people can cook/prep and the wide peninsula is, as you might imagine, the focal point of the kitchen.

The prep sink extends into what would be the breakfast nook. We have a dining room, so we've turned the breakfast nook into the children's homework area. Again, a bit non-conformist, but it works for us.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 3:20AM
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